There are certain images and soundbites that will forever embody the winning spirit of UCLA Athletics and these memories are etched into our collective memories as Bruins fans. Whether it be that of Coach's Pyramid of Success, Morgan sacks Tinsley, Tyus Edney going coast to coast with a buzzer-beating layup against Missouri in the 1995 NCAA tournament (amongst thousands of other great moments) or in most recent memories, McNeal's INT in 13-9 or my personal favorite Gus Johnson soundbite, "UCLA has climbed a mountain! Heartbreak City!" from the 2006 UCLA-Gonzaga NCAA tournament game, we, as Bruins will always cherish and remember these moments.
When I think of the one place where loyal UCLA Bruins from any background can relive these timeless moments and come together as a united fanbase to enjoy these great times and find comfort in other not so savory moments with thousands of other Bruins who share their pain; I only know of one place, Bruins Nation.
Happy 7th Birthday Bruins Nation!
I first joined this community two years ago after being a denizen of other blogs. I wanted to find a place where the fans were not only loyal, but thought for themselves and needed a community that was created by proud Bruins and for the proud Bruins. On a side note, does anybody still find it peculiar that the OC Register's UCLA "blog", is ironically run by a Southern Cal
hack alumni, Adam Maya?
As a former Morgan Center employee, I understood a lot of the fan's frustration at the lack of outreach, leadership and creativity from those in charge at the Morgan Center. I knew that Bruins Nation was the place for me when I started seeing posts that addressed this frustration, demanded disclosure and proactivity and sought action instead of the usual apathetic, defeatist attitude that can plague Bruins after years of losing. No, Bruins Nation expected better from UCLA Athletics and was on a mission.
I was truly impressed.
Off of the top of my head, two pivotal moments come to mind that made me want to contribute my own voice and ideas.
First, the success of the "Veto Seto" campaign that began as a grassroots campaign on Bruins Nation showed me that BN is a force to be reckoned with and that we are a fanbase that simply won't lie down and give up.
Next, MexiBruin's online petition showed me the scope and influence that Bruins Nation has as a community. I recognized dozens of names of Bruins in that petition - friends, former coworkers, acquaintances and even members of the UCLA faculty! Props to MexiBruin and the great Bruins out there who made these movements happen!
This is an outstanding community of Bruins and I am proud to say that I am one of many Bruins here who are not complacent with the state of UCLA Athletics and happy with the status quo. I echo tasser10's statement that, "(Bruins Nation) is an outlier when [...] the university was underachieving in so many ways." Bruins Nation is a special community of Bruins who expect to win and will fight for the key components to sustained athletic success at UCLA. While some of us may rely on passion buckets and relentless optimism, I personally am not the type to sit back and watch error after error being made at the Morgan Center without any kind of oversight, and I was thrilled to find others here who also demand accountability.
While other Bruins may complain about our passion and demand for excellence here, remember the definition of "fan." It is short for "fanatic;" we are fanatical supporters of our university's athletics programs and that's what makes this place so great. We care about UCLA! We care about the past! We care about the present! We sure as hell care about the future! While other "Bruins" may be caring about dinner reservations on an Italian cruise or trying to reach out to us through "blogs" or "office hours," we are the community that donates to the university during fiscally tough times, we are the community that stays until 0:00 in the 4th quarter or the 2nd half and we are the community that cares about SUNY Stonybrook's lineup this week because our Bruins are in Omaha.
We are the Bruins.
My favorite moments on Bruins Nation have to be the signing day posts. As the frontpagers know, this moment is special to me and the anticipation and outcomes are shared collectively through comedic relief, jubilance and reassurance that "we didn't need a thug like him anyways!"
Fellow Bruins, have a wonderful Father's Day and thank you all for reading and special thanks to all of the frontpagers and community members of Bruins Nation. I look forward to contributing and despite Chancellor Block being the chancellor and Dan Guerrero being the Athletic Director, our future will always be bright - let's go out there and make things happen!
Please feel free to share your thoughts and reach out with suggestions on what you'd like to see from my perspective.